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Navy S Marine Corps Medical News 


July 7, 2000 

This message has been coordinated with the commandant of 
the Marine Corps (CMC) . The commandant has authorized 
transmission to Marine Corps activities. 

Navy and Marine Corps Medical News (MEDNEWS) is a weekly 
compendium of news and information contributed by commands 
throughout the Navy Medical department . Information contained 
in MEDNEWS stories is not necessarily endorsed by Navy Bureau of 
Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) , nor should it be considered 
official Navy policy. 

BUMED distributes MEDNEWS to Sailors and Marines, their 
families, civilian employees and retired Navy and Marine Corps 
families . Further distribution is highly encouraged. 

Stories in MEDNEWS use these abbreviations after a Navy 
medical professional ' s name to show affiliation: MC - 
Medical Corps (physician) ; DC - Dental Corps; NC - Nurse 
Corps; MSC - Medical Service Corps (clinicians, researchers 
and administrative managers) . Hospital Corpsmen (HM) and 
Dental Technician (DT) designators are placed in front of 
their names. 


Contents for this week's MEDNEWS: 

- Naval Hospital Jacksonville aids lightning victims 

- Nursing Symposium held aboard USNS MERCY 

- USS WASP number one donor in the fleet 

- Dental residency program graduates the finest 

- 'Primary care manager by name ' starts in Negishi 

- Gap bridged between past and present amphibious operations 

- TRICARE question and answer 

- Anthrax question and answer 

- Healthwatch: Autism - myths and realities 



Headline: Naval Hospital Jacksonville aids lightning victims 
From Naval Hospital Jacksonville Public Affairs 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's hard to consider yourself lucky 
if you get hit by lightning, but for three Sailors at Naval Air 
Station Jacksonville, the odds were stacked in their favor when 
they were struck by lightning June 27. 

The three were on their way to their automobiles as a 
thunderstorm was fast approaching. As they reached their 
vehicles a bolt of lightning touched down striking all three. 

Fortunately, Family Practice physician Lt . Cmdr. Steve 

Blivin, MC, and his wife were in a nearby legal office building. 

"We heard a loud crack of thunder. We commented on it, 
thinking that it must have hit the ground and ignored it, " said 
Blivin. "Then I heard someone in the building say that the 
lightning had hit someone. I ran out into the parking lot where 
I found three Sailors that had been injured by the bolt of 
lightning. " 

One Sailor was not breathing and two suffered minor 
injuries . 

"I went over to him, opened his airway and started mouth- 
to-mouth resuscitation. After a while he started breathing on 
his own and had a very weak pulse, " said Blivin. 

Several ambulances arrived on the scene within minutes. 
The paramedics quickly provided oxygen and a heart monitor on 
the seriously injured Sailor. 

"When we got there, it was pretty chaotic — people were 
everywhere. We responded immediately, " said HN Jason Braswell, 
driver of the first ambulance to arrive on scene. 

After checking on one of the other Sailors, Blivin 
returned to his original patient only to find that again he had 
no pulse. 

"Thank God the ambulance crews were there because they had 
the right equipment we needed to get his pulse back, " said 
Blivin . 

"The second patient was conscious but wasn't really sure 
what had happened. We gave him oxygen because he was having 
difficulty breathing and transported him to the emergency room 
as fast as we could, " said Braswell . 

The NH Jacksonville emergency room team rose to the 
challenge of three lightning victims arriving simultaneously. 

"These three injured Sailors could not have received 
better care in any medical facility, anywhere. We're all praying 
for a complete recovery for all three, " said Naval Hospital 
Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Barb Vernoski, MC. 

Headline: Nursing Symposium held aboard USNS MERCY 
By J02 Stacie Rose, Navy Compass Staff Writer 

USNS MERCY (T-AH 19) hosted its first Operational Nursing 
Symposium recently sponsored by Naval Medical Center San Diego. 
About 130 people from Navy, Air Force, and Army nursing 

The theme of the conference was "Sharing successful 
practices in the Operational Arena. " A total of 24 lectures on 
all aspects of operational nursing were conducted. 

"Participants heard from a very talented group of 
speakers, passed stories and networked, " said Cmdr. Karen 
McKinsey, head of the Nursing Department aboard USNS MERCY, and 
an event organizer . 

As part of the symposium USNS MERCY called flight quarters 
and a SH-60F Seahawk helicopter landed on the flight deck to 
allow the symposium attendees to tour. On the pier, a hospital 
trauma tent was also on display for the attendees . 

"The symposium was an overwhelming success, especially 
with the junior nurses and corpsman, " said McKinsey . "This was a 

good start and an excellent foundation to build on. " 


Headline: USS WASP number one donor in the fleet 
By JOSN Kevin D. Sullenberger 

ABOARD USS WASP (LHD 1) - USS WASP broke a unique Navy 
record recently while participating in a significant 
humanitarian effort. The call to duty, during Mediterranean 
deployment 2000 however, was not assisting in relief efforts 
after a devastating earthquake, evacuating allied civilians from 
a hostile area, or fighting a fire at sea; it was a chance to 
perhaps save the lives of thousands of Americans who are 
diagnosed with leukemia or other fatal blood diseases . 

During a two-day transit to Naples, Italy, Sailors and 
Marines formed a line in WASP's medical department to give a 
blood sample to the Bill Young Marrow Program, a Department of 
Defense program founded by Congressman Bill Young and managed by 
the Naval Medical Research Institute. The program collects 
blood samples and tissue types then DOD volunteers enter the 
potential lifesaving information into the National Marrow Donor 
Registry' s database. 

"We have a better turnout at commands that are underway, " 
said Lt. Cindy Campbell, Commander Fleet Air Mediterranean' s 
Bone Marrow Donor Drive Coordinator . 

Campbell, the only service member in the Mediterranean 
qualified to run the drive, said that it's easier to get more 
participation from a command at sea because there is a higher 
concentration of personnel in one area and the medical facility 
on a ship is within walking distance . After running a two- 
minute television spot throughout the ship, distributing flyers 
on the mess decks, and making routine announcements on the 
ship's announcing system, volunteers appeared with their sleeves 
rolled up. 

USS WASP topped the Navy record of 796 volunteers held by 
USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74) . WASP also set the standard for 
amphibious ship participation by nearly doubling the 456 
participants USS BATAAN (LHD 5) turned into the national 
database . 

While the donors took time from their daily routine to 
pitch in, 25 dedicated corpsmen attached to USS WASP and 24th 
Marine Expeditionary Unit (SOC) worked from morning to night 
drawing blood and filing donor registration . 

In addition to its humanitarian role, the donor program 
gives the military the capability to provide immediate donor 
searches in the event of a mass casualty incident involving 
chemical or nuclear attacks where toxic agents can destroy bone 

The blue-green team finished their drive with 866 donor 
entries, completing another successful mission for USS WASP's 
Mediterranean Deployment 2000. 

"It was a life-saving effort, " said WASP's Commanding 
Officer Capt. Hugh G. Story. "I appreciate the efforts of 
everyone involved. " 


Headline : Dental residency program graduates the finest 
By LCDR Dan Pacheco, MSC, Naval Dental Center, Great Lakes 

GREAT LAKES, 111 . - Twenty-seven Navy dental officers 
recently completed an intense one-year residency training 
program at Naval Dental Center, Great Lakes. Disbursed among 
three separate program specialties (Advanced Education in 
General Dentistry (AEGD) , General Practice Residency (GPR) , and 
General Dentistry Fellows (GDF) ) , these graduates received 
comprehensive, specialized training in support of fleet and 
operational force requirements. 

The goal of the program is to prepare some of the best and 
brightest dental officers for operational assignments and 
isolated duty. 

The AEGD residents focus on comprehensive dental training 
in the clinical setting, while the GPRs receive similar training 
in a hospital setting. Newly accessed lieutenants competed for 
a limited number of GDF training slots that offer mentored 
training in clinical skills in each specialty area of dentistry . 

During a joint graduation ceremony with Naval Hospital 
Great Lakes, GPR residents, Capt. George H. Graf, commanding 
officer Naval Dental Center, Great Lakes, lauded the graduates 
as the future of Navy Medicine and dentistry . 

"I challenge each of you to take with you the technical 
and professional aspects of this past year and use them to drive 
Navy Dentistry to higher levels of dental readiness and 
optimization of dental health, " said Graf. 

In her congratulatory remarks, Capt. Elaine C. Holmes, 
commanding officer, Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, added, "These 
high quality education programs are at the cornerstone of our 
readiness. You have prepared yourselves through hard work and 
dedication to function independently in some of the most 
exciting and challenging circumstances in which our Navy permits 
us to serve. " 


Headline: 'Primary Care Manager By Name' starts in Negishi 
By Bill Doughty, PAO, U. S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka 

YOKOSUKA, Japan - U. S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka has 
refined its Primary Care services and teams with the start of 
Primary Care Manager By Name at Negishi Annex. Each patient is 
now being assigned to an individual health care provider. 

"They ' ve been doing the primary-care-manager-by-name in 
the States for a long time, " said Lt. Cmdr. Dan Hunter, the new 
Negishi primary care manager . "It lets you know who you 're 
going to see so you can put a face with a name. " 

According to 10-year Negishi resident Cynthia Palmer, wife 
of MA2 Kevin Palmer, this is the first time Negishi had a full 
Family Practice doctor here. 

"This morning my treatment was excellent . All my concerns 
were answered and I just feel really great about our clinic 
right now, " Ms. Palmer said. 

"I guess the bottom line is, I care about my patients . 
Even from my last command I still think about my patients I knew 
for my 2 1/2 years there. So the patients I get to know I will 

always remember . I want to do the best for them, " Hunter said. 

The Negishi community seems to be embracing the Primary 
Care Manager By Name concept . 

"It ' s going to be a pleasure to have the same people to 
relate all your problems to on the same basis, " said Palmer. 

"Continuity is the foundation of medicine wherever you 
are, " said Hunter. 


Headline : Gap bridged between past and present amphibious 

By Jeff Brown, Editor the Great Lakes bulletin 

GREAT LAKES, 111. - Veteran Sailors of the Medical 

Evacuation and Troop Transport ship USS GOSPER (APA 170) learned 

about today's Navy Medicine as they gathered recently for their 

biannual reunion at the Chicago Sheraton. 

They saw old friends and gained new knowledge about a 

Medical department that they helped to shape. Their ship was 

among the hundreds supporting the invasion of Okinawa, more than 

50 years ago. 

"The World War II veterans were the trendsetters with the 
deployment of the Landing Ship Tank as a medical platform and 
the use of ships like the USS GOSPER for medical evacuation, " 
said Lt. Youssef Aboul-Enein, MSC, who spoke about the 
capabilities of amphibious warships today. 

These service men and their historical actions influenced 
medical advancements such as use of the helicopter in medical 
evacuations . 

The veterans were introduced to the types of medical 
support and the evolution of amphibious ships from 8, 500 ton 
Landing Ship Transports to the 40, 000 ton Landing Helicopter 
Docking Ships. 

"They were fascinated with the level of care provided 
aboard a WASP-Class ship, with its six operating rooms and 540 
bed overflow, " said Aboul-Enein . 

The GOSPER veterans were astounded to hear and proud to be 
a part of the foundation of medical evacuation options available 
to today's medical professionals at sea and preventive medicine 
efforts that are undertaken by ship's medical departments. 


TRICARE question and answer 

Question: How do I switch from TRICARE Standard to Extra 
and vice-versa? Can I do this at any time? 

Answer: As long as you are not enrolled in TRICARE Prime, you 
may switch between Standard and Extra at any time. You can 
switch by making the choice between any civilian doctor and a 
doctor within the Extra network. 


Anthrax question and answer 

Question: Is there a requirement for long-term follow-up 
after the anthrax vaccine is administered? 

Answer: No. Just like other FDA-licensed products, the 

anthrax vaccine does not require follow-up monitoring of healthy 
vaccine recipients. Nonetheless, the DoD has already conducted 
such studies and is conducting more. No data collected to date 
shows any patterns of adverse events developing years after 
people have been vaccinated with anthrax vaccine or any other 
vaccine . 


Headline: Healthwatch: Autism — myths and realities 

By LCDR Mark C. Russell, MSC, Ph.D., Child Clinical Psychologist 

YOKOSUKA, Japan - There appears to be a lot of mystique 
and misinformation surrounding autism, often perpetuated by the 
media and movies like "Rain Man" and "A House of Cards, " and 
some outdated theories about its causes. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention, Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of 
life-long developmental conditions caused by an abnormality of 
the brain that affects as many as 1 in 500 individuals 
worldwide . 

Over 500,000 people in the U.S. today have an ASD. Its 
prevalence rate makes ASD one of the most common developmental 
disabilities . It is characterized by problems with social 
interaction and communication skills and by the need for 
sameness or repetition in behavior. The three main types of ASD 
include autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, and 
Asperger' s disorder. 

There is a great deal of variability in functioning within 
a certain diagnosis so that an individual may have mild, 
moderate, or severe levels of a particular ASD. Therefore, no 
two individuals with an ASD are alike. 

Some people with ASD are relatively high functioning , with 
speech and intelligence intact but others are mentally retarded, 
mute, or have serious language delays. 

Most ASD begins at birth or within the first 2 1/2 years 
of life. Because of their difficulties in communicating and 
social interactions it hard for them to communicate with others 
and relate to the outside world. In some cases, aggressive 
and/or self-injurious behavior may be present. 

In general, individuals with ASD are not threatening and 
do not pose a harm to others. Persons with autism may exhibit 
repeated body movements, unusual responses to people or 
attachments to objects, restricted range of interests, and 
resistance to changes in routines . Some also experience 
sensitivities in the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, 
smell, and taste. 

Probably the most fascinating and sensationalized feature 
of ASD popularized by films such as "Rain Man, " are "autistic 
savant " skills, which are extraordinary abilities not exhibited 
by most persons. Approximately 10 percent of individuals with 
ASD have savant abilities; the most common forms involve 
mathematical calculations , memory feats, artistic abilities, and 
musical abilities . 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the 
causes of ASD are poorly understood, although it is clear that 

autism is a biological brain disorder . It is widely accepted 
that ASD is a complex combination of genetic and environmental 
factors that effect brain development . 

There is no cure for ASD although some medication may 
relieve symptoms associated with the disorders. Research has 
consistently shown that early detection and intervention, 
especially before the age of 5 years, can play a critical role 
in the long-term prognosis or outcome for a child with an ASD. 


Comments about and ideas for MEDNEWS are welcome . Story 
submissions are encouraged. Contact MEDNEWS editor, at email:; Telephone 202/762-3218, (DSN) 762, 
or fax 202/762-3224.